Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), the party’s candidate in the Greater Taichung mayoral election in November, told a press conference in Washington on Wednesday that he is worried that the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) might use the intelligence agencies to influence the nation’s seven-in-one elections.
He also said, without going into details, that China might try to put its “thumb on the scales” to keep the DPP out of power.
Lin said that DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) had received formal notification of a summons by the Special Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office in what looked like an attempt to interfere with the elections.
He said there is speculation the summons involves documents that were related to a case dating back to 2002 to 2004, when Wu held a senior position in the administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Lin said that when the nation’s former representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) returned home earlier this year to head the National Security Council, he started investigating members of the DPP.
“If this is a targeted campaign, targeting those of us in electoral races right now, it could be an unpredictable factor in the elections,” Lin said.
Lin said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) might use information from the intelligence agencies to fight an “asymmetrical war, an unfair war” against the DPP.
The DPP lawmaker said it is “extremely disappointing” to find that at Taiwan’s current level of democratic development the possibility still exists to use judicial cases to influence elections.
“I hope that King can exercise self restraint as he implements his authority over the various national security agencies,” Lin said.
“I urge the administration not to cross that red line, using the intelligence agencies in the judicial process to influence the elections,” he said.
Lin has been in the US on an information-gathering tour, during which he has spoken with members of the US Congress, the US Department of State and think tanks.
“Everybody is concerned about Taiwan’s increasing economic dependence on China,” Lin said.
Lin said there is an awareness that the dependence could have strategic implications.
House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce told Lin there is a need for some rebalancing.
Lin also held a series of discussions on strengthening links between Greater Taichung and US cities.
Economic growth and development are major priorities if the DPP continues its electoral successes as it looks to stabilize cross-strait relations, he said.
“We will continue the interactions that we have already indicated and we will deepen them,” Lin said.
He had pushed US officials to make the utmost effort to include Taiwan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement being negotiated.
Membership of the TPP would help Taiwan rebalance while it also engages with China, Lin said.
He said that US Department of State officials are interested in the latest analysis of Taiwan’s local elections to be held later this year.
The officials also wanted to know about the DPP’s plans for the national defense budget and Lin said he told them the party is committed to increasing it to at least 3 percent of GDP.